Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Two News

Read this two news item which recently appeared

November 23-An application has been filed in the Court for permission to withdraw all life-supporting systems from Aruna Shanbag, a one time nurse in the KEM Hospital lying the for the past 25 years in a brain-dead condition as there is no hope of recovery.She was the victim of a violent rape by

The following two new items appeared recently in papers

Mumbai Nov.23

Aruna, now 59, joined Mumbai's King Edward Memorial (KEM) Hospital as a nurse in 1966. She was brutally attacked by ward boy Sohanlal Valmiki in 1973. Aruna was menstruating at the time, so Valmiki sodomised her after strangling her with a dog chain, cutting off the oxygen supply to her brain.

The attack left Aruna blind, paralysed and comatose for 36 years. Valmiki was convicted for attempt to murder and for robbing Aruna's earrings, but never tried to rape. He was sentenced to R.I. for seven years.

A Supreme Court bench headed by chief justice KG Balakrishnan expressed concern when lawyer Shekhar Nafde, appearing for Virani, suggested that Aruna not be fed. Nafde said this could not be considered a plea for euthanasia; Aruna's case was not about human rights, he said, and her life was

. The court has issued notices to the Centre and to the Maharashtra government on the, that "under the law of the country, we cannot allow a person to die observing ".


Ruchika molestation: 6 months jail, Rs 1,000 fine for ex-DGP

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Nineteen years after he allegedly moested a teenaged girl who later committed suicide, former Haryana Director General of Police S P S Rathore was today sentenced to six months rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs 1,000 for the crime.

Special CBI Magistrate J S Sidhu convicted Rathore of molesting 14-year-old Ruchika Girhotra. Rathore got bail immediately after the
order was pronounced and was told to furnish bail bonds of Rs 10,000. His wife and defence counsel, Abha Rathore, stood surety for bail.

In August 1990, Ruchika, a budding tennis player, was allegedly molested by Rathore, then an IG and president of the Haryana Lawn Tennis Association, at his office-cumr esidence -- Ruchika's
friend and classmate Aradhana was eyewitness to the incident.

When I read these two items one after the other I remembered the famous dialogue in Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice when the Court certifies that the loan document contgaining the condition of having a pound of flesh in case of default was quite in order. The usurer Shylock exclaims, “Oh, a Dadniel(Dharmaraj) has come to judgement.I feel that while giving such a light punishment the fact that the rape did not lead to killing of the victim must have weighed on the Court.The Defence plea that he has become old and has recently undergone a major o;peration could also have coloured Court’ vision.Similar consideration must have weighed with the Court which allowed bail to the accused immediately after initial arrest and even now after conviction. The accused has declared his itetion to file an appeal against this award and I have no doubt the Appellate Court would show equal understanding while deciding it.

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In the earlier case the Court found that there had been no rape. Perhaps in his wisdom Hon. Court found that sodomising was not rape perhaps because that act is normally associated with male victims. Otherwise the atrocity was no less heinous- the striking down with a blunt instrument to break resistence. The code of punishments for rape is quite stringent. Of course in latter Ruchica case the atrocity did not lead to death. That came about months latter and moreover was self inflicted by the victim upon herself as self-punishment. In any case even if the outcome at the end was equally tragic since the accused was not the perpetrator.he could not be held responsible legally. But morally? Well it is not the morals but the evidence that matters in courts .The sense of justice of the Court is strong.. Court cases contains a case where the perpetrator of the crime did ;proceed to commit rape but when he saw the pleading in the eyes of the girl he withdrew. The Court did not find him guilty of rape.(One of my jocular friend suggested that possibly the earlier judge was castist and cast of the accused mattered for him!

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So it does appear that even if the accused was technically guilty the matter was not so serious in the eyes which gave bail freely to the accused. The ;parent department of the accused was so considerate that it gave him promoitions after promotions. Normally these are held up for government servants accused of serious lapses till the turn of the bureauacrt comes.

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